HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — SCDHEC officials said in a virtual media briefing Wednesday it will continue to limit COVID vaccine allocation to providers if they are found violating vaccination guidelines.
DHEC will not be giving more first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Horry County Fire Rescue for now, according to a letter sent by DHEC on Tuesday.
“We’re going to continue to reserved the right to limit allocations if we determine providers are knowingly choosing not to follow state guidelines, but we’re going to continue to work with Horry County officials,” said Nick Davidson, the senior of deputy of public health with DHEC.
This comes after Horry County Fire Rescue apparently allowed ineligible county employees to get vaccinated. Horry County employees were able to grant “a designee” to also receive the vaccine, with an emphasis on those who met the criteria for Phase 1A.
And Horry County officials responded on Tuesday by blasting DHEC in a new statement. The county accused DHEC of mismanaging and miscommunicating early in the vaccine distribution process.
The county says the state agency previously approved its vaccination plan and accuses the agency of contradicting its own guidance. “The simple fact is that Horry County has at all times complied with SCDHEC’s guidance, and if SCDHEC was better able to satisfy its current supply challenges, we would not be having this discussion.”
Read the full statement from the county here:
The county can continue to use the existing vaccines it has on Phase 1A individuals, according to the letter. Law enforcement officers, public safety officers, county administrative staff are not included in Phase 1A.
DHEC may schedule a time to discuss providing the county with additional doses once the county’s existing vaccine supply is administered, according to the letter. The second dose for those who have already received the first can be ordered “at the appropriate time” through an inventory request process.
DHEC sent a letter to the county earlier this month after it received reports that ineligible people were receiving the vaccines. The letter asked for a record of who had been vaccinated by the county and how distribution was planned.
Horry County employees were able to grant “a designee” to also receive the vaccine, with an emphasis on those who met the criteria for Phase 1A, according to a letter Horry County Fire Rescue sent in response.